Yikes! It’s not something we usually like to think about or read about or parent about but stick with me, because I’m going in a positive direction with this, for sure. I’m a crazy libertarian so I won’t be beating you over the head with my religion stick or drilling women’s liberation chants down your throat. My libertarian human rights perspective on this is to allow you to do and be and choose for yourself with reckless abandon… right up until it takes that right away from another human. In that way, Abortion is something I chat with my children about on the daily without their even knowing it. SOOOO… I have a small challenge for you that could get us BIG RESULTS.
Today is an especially spectacular day in our house because it is my son Wesley’s 12th LifeDay. That begs the obvious question, what’s a “LifeDay”? Simply put, your LifeDay is (#EarMuffs!!!) the day you were conceived. YIKES AGAIN! We don’t talk about THAT event with CHILDREN, right? In fact, we’d rather pretend we allow a magical gargantuan bird careening through the air with a random tiny human swinging from its beak to fly into our living room and expect us to take a liking to the crying bundle of “joy” and care for it for the rest of our lives. Let’s be real though if we’re okay with that fairytale, I’d definitely like to add that this stork delivery also packs an instruction book on how to keep this human alive and not screw him up too badly, but apparently that’s a bridge too far. Seriously though, we talk about conception in our house all the time and we celebrate it! The antiquated “I’ll tell you when you’re older” parenting is just not compatible with modern life. If you don’t give them answers to their natural curiosities, Alexa will.
There we were, sitting on the couch, my son, Wesley, my daughter, Juliette, and Everett and I. Everett was in my belly and just getting to the point where Wes and Jules could press their hands up to his playpin and feel him drumming away for his audience. This got them brimming with questions. Is he ALIVE? Can he hear us? Who is he? What does he look like? Does he like trucks? Does he want to play with me? I can’t WAIT to go on adventures with him!!
I wanted to give Wes and Jules a sense of their little brother’s personhood NOW, not after I gave birth to him. So, in true parenting fashion, I made something up on the spot. We calculated Wesley’s “LifeDay”, and mine and Juliette’s and of course the little drummer/tapdancing gymnast in my belly and anyone else they were curious about. I know what you are thinking, but it doesn’t have to be the exact date, it’s the act of celebrating it that matters. The LifeDay concept has become a celebrated realization of SELF in our household. IRL Translation: “I’m fantastic and this is the day I became me. Lucky you!” Unlike a birthday, It’s not about mommy’s harrowing tale of childbirth or the random set of syllables your parents came up with to call you for all eternity, or even which side of the family you got your dashing good looks from. Your LifeDays are about YOU. We all know that our little ego-maniac children eat that up with a spoon!! So we commemorate each of our family members’ LifeDay every year by doing something FUN together and making a memory. They thoroughly enjoy our #LifeDay tradition. There is, in fact, no cooler feeling than when someone tells me that one of my babies told them it was their LifeDay that day and they couldn’t wait for the family adventure we were going to take to celebrate! #BestFeelingEVER!!
Back to adulting. My plan is to use my kids’ LifeDay as a familiar touchstone for introducing “the birds and the bees” later and all that that entails. I don’t know about you, but I KNOW that in this modern world, I need as much help as possible with figuring out how to gracefully ease my kids’ brains into understanding what sex is about. And while I’m at it, I also have to try to stay one step ahead of the kids at the lunchtable so that they get these revelations from ME and not Mikey the all-knowing and incredibly loquacious third grader whose high school brother has lavished him with a fount of “knowledge”. So, if I’m the one doling out the info, the goal is to do my best to give my kids this deeply personal ownership of their personhood’s conception with their LifeDay celebration. I hope it will help them understand where life comes from and how to respect it. I think that celebrating life from its beginning gives my kids a solid foundation for how important their life is, and eventually, hopefully, the importance of the lives of others. By taking advantage of the self-important nature of our kids’ thoughts and their world, we can help them understand the HUGE concept of the beginning of life in a way that makes the most sense to them (without them needing to bleach their eyes with the thought of the nitty gritty of their parents procreation victory). My kids know and will excitedly tell you, “MY LifeDay was the beginning of ME and I am the person that began that day!”
Every year when Wesley and Juliette and Everett wake up on their LifeDay I read this poem (picture below) to remind them of how awesome they are and how great it is to be alive. I feel called to bring this message of gratitude and honor of life to anyone who will hear it. I think that if we keep sharing this idea with parents and grandparents and aunts and anyone who is an influencer of the next generation, then we can make a true impact on the culture of our world. I told you I was thinking BIG with this!!
So here’s my ask… I want to challenge you to celebrate your children’s LifeDay with them. Please. Share the LifeDay concept with the children and adults in your life and celebrate life so fragile and fleeting and the wonder that paints our journey. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and stories about Celebrating LifeDays and see if we can make this thing soar higher than a mythical avian baby delivery service!
Although this poem is copyrighted, I do own a sublimation, vinyl and embroidery business so I can print it for you onto anything from a mug to metal wall art to wooden wall art with any background you’d like so that you can have something tangible to remind you to CELEBRATE LifeDays. These make beautiful parents-to-be gifts with an ultrasound in the background (I can change the picture to anything you’d like). Samples of these will be posted soon! Email me at MA@BoujAche.com for more details.
This poem is protected under US Copyright TXu 2-052-824 ©2017 Marianne Renee Abell
“From my LifeDay I became ME” is subject to US and International Copyright laws. Reproduction and distribution without consent of Marianne Abell and BoujAche Chronicles are prohibited.